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Bhutan: Khamsum Yuelley Namgyal Chorten

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Khamsum Yuelley Namgyal Chorten | Bhutan | Asia

[Visited: October 2009]

We passed the famous Punakha Dzong on our way up Punakha Valley, leaving it for later. However, the morning view was so wonderful, that we did stop several times to have a look at the river. We also chatted with some students who were studying right on the banks of the Mo Chhu river, preparing the exam they would have to do shortly thereafter. Practicing English is, however, also important, and the opportunity is not always there for the Bhutanese youth. A short ride up the valley, we reached a parking lot with a man busy putting chillies out for sale on the floor next to him.

Picture of Khamsum Yuelley Namgyal Chorten (Bhutan): View of Khamsum Yuelley Namgyal Chorten

My guide and I crossed the suspension bridge crossing Mo Chhu river, and walked across the rice fields that had been carved out of the valley floor. We could see Khamsum Yuelley Namgyal Chorten high up on the hillock ahead of us, but had to concentrate on the trail leading through the rice fields. The climb up was easy and fast; nevertheless, we were sweating under the warm autumn sun when we reached the top. The door to the chorten was closed, so we walked around the platform on which the chorten has been built. We saw the row of white chortens on one side of the platform, a statue on the valley side, with a goddess subduing a demon by putting her feet on his body, and above all, enjoyed the view around: the mountains, the trees everywhere, the rice terraces we had just been walking through.

Picture of Khamsum Yuelley Namgyal Chorten (Bhutan): Small pavilion with statue at Khamsum Yuelley Namgyal Chorten

Khamsum Yuelley Namgyal Chorten looks very traditional and could almost pass as another relic of the building fervour of Bhutanese leaders of the past, but it is a contemporary chorten. In the 1990s, former queen Ashi Tshering Yangdon decided a chorten was needed to ward off evil spirits, and religious figures decided on this very spot, apparently basing their opinion on Buddhist teachings. Its purpose was to protect the crown prince, and through him, the prosperity of the Bhutanese people. More than just that: it is supposed to promote the world peace, stability, and harmony. A modest monk opened the door for us, and we climbed the finely decorated chorten, climbing to the roof. Nine years of hard work have led to yet another pearl of Bhutanese religious architecture. The views of the surrounding landscape was even better from the roof. It was one of those places where I could have easily spent a long time - but we still had a long programme for the rest of the day, so we walked back to the river crossing.

Picture of Khamsum Yuelley Namgyal Chorten (Bhutan): View from the top of Khamsum Yuelley Namgyal Chorten
Picture of Khamsum Yuelley Namgyal Chorten (Bhutan): Small white chortens near the main chorten
Picture of Khamsum Yuelley Namgyal Chorten (Bhutan): Mo Chhu river has to be crossed first before reaching the chorten
Picture of Khamsum Yuelley Namgyal Chorten (Bhutan): Rice fields carved out of the landscape surrounding Khamsum Yuelley Namgyal Chorten
Picture of Khamsum Yuelley Namgyal Chorten (Bhutan): Top of the white chorten with golden spire
Picture of Khamsum Yuelley Namgyal Chorten (Bhutan): Rice terraces and house next to Khamsum Yuelley Namgyal Chorten
Picture of Khamsum Yuelley Namgyal Chorten (Bhutan): Looking at Khamsum Yuelley Namgyal Chorten
Picture of Khamsum Yuelley Namgyal Chorten (Bhutan): Buddhist statue outside the chorten
Picture of Khamsum Yuelley Namgyal Chorten (Bhutan): Huge prayer wheel spinning around and spreading prayer

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